Selim Caravanserei

Camels and mules were really of the utmost importance here! Selim Caravanserei is an outstanding example of Armenian secular architecture of the Middle Ages. 

It recalls an important trade route of the Middle Ages, which connected the South and West, the Arabic-Persian world with other countries of the Caucasus.

A Persian inscription on the exterior, as well as an inconspicuous Armenian inscription inside the tympanum above the entrance, provide information about the owner, Prince Chesar Orbelyan, and its construction date (1332). This is not only indicative of different nationalities of travelers that stayed there, but also the attractiveness of the owners. The complex consists of a long, vaulted hall which is extended into another small building. There is a cone-shaped tympanum over the stem’s gate, which is decorated by stalactites and an inscription of Seljuk origin. On both sides of the portal, over the lateral consoles, there is a bull and a chimera carved from gray and orange volcanic stone guarding the entrance of the caravanserai.

Only people would have been housed in the building, whereas animals were left outside.